In Apple v. Samsung, it's up to the Jury Now

By: Michelle Myers, CNET Email
By: Michelle Myers, CNET Email

Apple and Samsung both rested their cases this week in the ongoing billion-dollar patent infringement dispute, and now it's up to the jury to pick a victor.

Apple's closing arguments focused on the documents at the heart of its courtroom offensive. The company's attorney highlighted a series of internal Samsung documents, many of which showed that Samsung looked to Apple's devices for cues when designing its software icons and general features.

Samsung closed its case by painting Apple as a company that is stifling market competition not just in the U.S. but in the tech world at large. And it argued that any product design similarities are not copying, but benchmarking -- the practice in which companies keep up with rivals on things like screen size, battery life, and other core features.

Then on Wednesday, after sitting through more than three weeks of complicated, often technical testimony, the jury started its deliberations. And by all accounts, it's likely to take some time for it to reach a decision.

And all indications suggest that the verdict won't be a clean one. There will likely be damages on both sides, and it's still unclear whether there will be outright victor. In addition, the option to appeal could drag this case on for several more years. A separate appeals case between the two regarding software elements of Android and a potential ban on the Galaxy Nexus is set to start in 2014.

Further complicating matters is this week's decision from a South Korean court that both companies infringed on each others' patents, resulting in bans and fines on both sides. The two have sued each other in multiple courts in multiple countries, potentially extending the entanglements for years.

So while a verdict, when it comes, might not have much of a near-term impact, the potential ramifications are huge.

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